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EnglishCentral Launches New Pronunciation Center

New Machine Learning Techniques Double Precision for Learners

September 9, 2020. Boston, MA. EnglishCentral today released its new Pronunciation Center, the industry’s first online English pronunciation tool trained on over 1 billion learner events.

For the last 10 years, our learners have provided us over 1 billion learning events on how they learn English, said Alan Schwartz, Founder & CEO of EnglishCentral. We have used this data to create what we call a “Teacher-Machine Learning Loop” that leverages our team of over 600 trained professional English teachers to train and improve our IntelliSpeechSM machine learning platform.

The new Pron Center, powered by IntelliSpeechSM, more than doubles the accuracy in detecting errors in learners’ pronunciation and fluency compared to previous versions. The goal with AI-feedback on EnglishCentral is to emulate what great teachers do. For example, instead of pointing out each and every pronunciation mistake a student makes, a great teacher focuses on just those egregious mistakes that make the students speech unintelligible. This is key to maintain students’ motivation to keep practicing. The 2x increase in accuracy in our latest version is specifically related to reducing “false alerts”, i.e., penalizing learners for mistakes that are in fact not mistakes that matter for intelligibility.

“EnglishCentral has led the market here for English pronunciation training for almost a decade now,” said Dr. Charles Browne, PhD at Meiji Gakuin University, and developer of the New General Service List (NGSL), a popular high-frequency vocabulary list used worldwide. “In addition to the accuracy improvements with this latest Pron Center, the tight integration with high-frequency vocabulary lists means learners can focus their speaking practice on just those words that matter the most. EnglishCentral is the only vocab tool on the market I am aware of that allows students to systematically practice speaking high frequency words in context,” added Dr. Browne.

The Pronunciation Center is currently available on the desktop and mobile version of the EnglishCentral website. It will be available on Android and iOS apps later this year.

Press Contact:
Shun Furuyama, Marketing Director, press@englishcentral.com, Phone: +815038023236

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AI Expert Steven Chambers to Join EnglishCentral Advisory Board


May 15, 2020. Boston, MA. EnglishCentral, the most widely adopted AI-powered English language conversation platform in the world, today announced that Steven Chambers will join as a strategic advisor.

Mr. Chambers is a recognized leader in artificial intelligence and speech recognition, having served as President at Nuance Communications, the world’s leading speech recognition company, and as CMO of Sense, Inc., named by VentureBeat in 2019 as one of the world’s top 100 artificial intelligence companies.

“Steve’s background in AI is super helpful to us at this stage in our corporate life given his leadership of both entrepreneurial and multi-billion dollar organizations at scale”, said Alan Schwartz, CEO of EnglishCentral. “Additionally, Steve’s recent focus exploring the nexus of innovation and educational pedagogies via his PhD candidacy at the Harvard School of Education fits directly in with our key mission: how best to combine recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence to support better teaching and better outcomes for learners. With industry-leaders like Steve and Mike Phillips, CEO of Sense, on our team, I am confident we are on the right path to build the industry’s leading solutions combining live teaching and artificial intelligence into what we call our Teacher-Machine Learning Loop.”

About EnglishCentral:

EnglishCentral is the most widely adopted AI-powered English language conversation platform in the world, changing the way students and professionals across the globe learn to speak English. Adopted by over 1000 universities, schools and corporations in over 100 countries, the company delivers interactive, video-based language learning experiences for both self-study and one-on-one tutoring, providing one of the most widely adopted and complete platforms for practicing and mastering English conversation online. Its extensive library of video lessons, proprietary IntelliSpeech℠ speech assessment technology, and pre-built course modules guarantee results for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.

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Meet the New EnglishCentral

The latest version of EnglishCentral is now live!

We are proud to announce the latest version of EnglishCentral is now available in 10 languages. It’s a ground-up rewrite of our platform using the latest progressive web technology, built by our teams in Boston, Ankara, Tokyo, Seoul, and Manila.

And, we are just getting started… We have a new version of our IntelliSpeechSM assessment platform on the way next quarter too. To help us continue to innovate further in applying the latest technologies to language learning, we are hiring speech science engineers, mobile UX developers as well as great ELL teachers and linguists. If interested, please reach out at careers@englishcentral.com.

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